Week 3 sees the first London game of 2017, with Jacksonville hosting the Baltimore Ravens. The weather is supposed to be cool and overcast for Baltimore’s overseas debut. Game time is 9:30 am eastern for those of you in the USA, so be sure to set your clocks and have your fantasy lineups ready the night before. In other news:
No love for fantasy football players
Seattle’s Richard Sherman gave a critical opinion of the NFL’s injury disclosure policy, saying its sole purpose is to help the betting industry. Sherman has been on Seattle’s injury report since opening day but has played in both games. His point is that the NFL is supposed to be anti-gambling, so it should not be providing information that serves no purpose except adjusting betting odds. When told that the injury report is also vital to NFL fantasy players, Sherman scoffed and said that fantasy football players are as bad as gamblers.
Ezekiel Elliott will likely play the entire year as the NFL’s appeal of the injunction against the original suspension was denied. In a similar situation with Tom Brady, the suspension hearings occurred after the regular season ended.
Slow cookin’ in Minny
Before we get into injury updates, here is an interesting statistic about Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook that his fantasy owners are probably aware of. Lots of good runners get stronger as the game goes on. Cook is no exception. His yards per carry rise each quarter, which is not that unusual except for the amount of difference between quarter one and quarter four.
Cook is averaging 0.7 yards per carry in the first quarter. That jumps to 2.9 in the second, 7.5 ypc in the third and a whopping 9.1 ypc in the fourth. I can’t wait to see his first overtime game.
Patriots get their own injury section
Rob Gronkowski says his groin injury is minor, but he did not practice Wednesday. There is a concern the injury might limit his availability or even keep him from playing on Sunday. Dwayne Allen and an undrafted rookie named Jacob Hollister would cover the tight end spot.
Rex Burkhead (rib) was not seen at practice. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett was limited, but expects to play Sunday, as does a still-limping Chris Hogan. Danny Amendola is cleared from the concussion protocol and returned to practice.
The best news for the Patriots was on the other side of the ball. Dont’a Hightower practiced Wednesday on a limited basis. The Patriots could use a pass rusher as they try to get their defensive swagger back.
On the quarterback front
Sam Bradford is listed as day-to-day with his knee issue. He was scheduled to practice Wednesday ahead of Case Keenum. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck is not practicing. Jacoby Brissett will make his second start for the Colts Sunday.
The Bengals’ Andy Dalton might be the next quarterback out, but not because of an injury. Head coach Marvin Lewis seems to have tied his future to his star passer, immediately announcing Dalton is the starter after firing the offensive coordinator. But it’s never a good thing when teammates say they wish Colin Kaepernick was on the team or when the fans are rooting for your backup during games. Stay tuned.
Wide receivers with issues
Jarvis Landry will continue to play while nursing an achy knee back to health. Why not? With 13 receptions last week, Landry or the Dolphins might want to hurt his other knee when this one is better.
Corey Davis has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Rookie Taywan Taylor and Eric Decker might see an uptick in targets in his absence.
Odell Beckham Jr. practiced Wednesday, apparently with no ill effects after Monday night’s game.
The Bears’ Markus Wheaton says his finger feels good enough to play Sunday.
Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson says his quad injury is not that serious. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, but the team would not commit to his status for the game. Randall Cobb (shoulder) was among the eight Packers who could not practice at all.
Arizona’s John Brown is ruled out for Sunday. He has not tried to run since he left practice last week with a quad issue.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll sounded like he expects Paul Richardson to play one week after dislocating a finger against the Niners.
Running into problems
Baltimore’s Terrance West sat out practice with a calf injury. Javorius Allen and rookie Alex Collins would see more touches if he misses the game in London this weekend. Collins is in line to take the red zone duties as the power back.
DeMarco Murray is still considered day-to-day with a hamstring injury. If he can not run by Friday, he will be ruled out. Whether Murray plays or not, Derrick Henry is in line for an increased workload. If Murray is out, Henry will be the workhorse, occasionally spelled by David Fluellen.
Rob Kelly has been fitted with rib padding and will play Sunday. He says the pain has moderated somewhat since Sunday, when he said it was a ten. It won’t take much of a hit to bring the pain back, making Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine possible worthy fantasy starts.
Tight end spots
Jimmy Graham’s ankle is still sore and coach Pete Carroll has not ruled out resting him Sunday. Luke Willson and Nick Vannett the other tight ends on the roster.
Washington’s Jordan Reed sat out practice with rib and shoulder injuries. He is considered day-to-day. Vernon Davis is ready if needed.
Ryan Griffin cleared concussion protocol and returned to practice for the Texans. Stephen Anderson remains sidelined for now, although the team hopes he will be back on time for this weekend’s game against the Patriots.
Tyler Eifert took the day off in Cincinnati with continuing back pain. His status for Sunday is questionable, at best.
Gerald Everett, the second tight end in the Los Angeles Rams scheme, missed practice with a thigh contusion. He could miss the Thursday game and keep the Rams from using their two-tight end sets.
One more thing
With everyone preoccupied with injuries, not much else has been in the news. But there is one development in Cleveland that could affect fantasy plans. Running back Isaiah Crowell took the time to meet with coach Hue Jackson about his workload. Crowell has not been able to find a rhythm so far in limited and inconsistent carries. Jackson stated after game two that the Browns need to run more. Sunday’s tilt against the Colts could show us what Jackson’s plans are for the Browns running game.
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